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Connecticut Libraries 

3 ^153 DIAbnAO 1 

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in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 

Center for International Studies 
International Communism Project 

February 19&3 


Ernst Halperin 




Ernst Halperin 
The Communist Party of Chile and the Sino -Soviet Split 
The Chilean Communists , the strongest, best-organized, most 
disciplined, and most influential Communist party on the American 
continent, are reluctantly siding with the Russians in their conflict 
with Red China. 

The Chilean Communist Party has a long record of successes and was 
a sizable group with a definite influence on the political life of its 
country as early as the late nineteen-thirties. The leadership and 

cadres of such parties, whether their mood be leftist-sectarian, as in 

France, or rightist-opportunist s as in Italy 9 tend to harbor strong 

feelings of lovalty towards the Soviet Union. This is also the case 

1. It is i interesting phenomenon that each individual communist 
party has its own predominant mood or tradition, which manifests itself 
in the degree of eagerness or reluctance with which at any given moment 
it implements the general policies of the communist world movement. 
Thus the essential Rightism of the Italian Party manifested itself even 
under the extremely unfavorable conditions at the height of the Cold 
War in what the Party authorities called the "disease of Pepponismo" 
(named after the opportunistic communist small-town mayor Peppone in 
Guareschi's popular novel 5 Don Camillo e Peppone ) ^e.j the maintenance 
of friendly relations and indulgence in various more or less shady 
political and financial deals with their Democristiani opponents by 
communist dignitaries on the local plane,, Today, the Rightism and even 
revisionism of the Italian communists is clearly demonstrated, i.a., by 
their friendly attitude towards the Yugoslavs. 

The Sectarianism of the French Communists is a relatively new 
phenomenon, which probably developed during their long years of isolation 
in the Cold War period. In domestic policy, this sectarianism was 
clearly demonstrated by the French Communists 9 refusal to collaborate 
with non-communist leftist groups in the campaign to stop the Algerian 
war. On the international plane, it manifests itself in their negative 
attitude towards Yugoslavia and their poor relations with the GomuXka 
leadership in Poland, which were often sarcastically commented on by 
Polish communists in their conversations with me after 1956. 

in Chile. At the same time there are, however, definite indications of 
Chilean Communist discomfort in regard to the dispute with Peking, 
Unlike the Italian Communists, the Chilean Party cannot be said to be 
in the forefront of the struggle against Chinese "dogmatism and 

Judging by the declarations of their leaders, the Chilean Communists' 
attitude towards the Sino-Soviet conflict appears at first glance to be 
one of unequivocal support for Moscow. In a session held after the 22nd 

Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, the Chilean Central Committee 


formally approved its decisions. At the 12th Congress of the Chilean 


Party, which took place from March 13 to 18, 1962 in Santiage, both 

Secretary General Luis Corvalan and Politbureau member Volodia Teitelboim 
reaffirmed the Party's adherence to the Soviet Twentieth Congress 

principles of "peaceful coexistence" and to "the possibility of a 

peaceful transition to socialism in some countries." Both Corvalan 

and Teitelboim denounced the Albanian Communists, who had "fallen into 
• the slough of anti-Sovietism" (Corvalan) and had "reneged on Marxism- 
Leninism" (Teitelboim). 

2. Vd. Hacia la Conquista de un Gobierno Popular , Documentes del XII 
Congreso Nacional del Partido Comunista de Chile (Santiago de Chile: 
Soc, Impresora "Horizonte," 1962), p. 166. This publication will 
henceforth be referred to as "Twelfth Congress Documents." 

3 . It is indicative of the position of respectability attained by the 
Chilean Communists that the opening session of their congress, according 
to "Twelfth Congress Documents," p. 3, was actually held in the "Salon 
de Honor" of the Chilean Parliament building. 

h. "Twelfth Congress Documents" p, lU, for Corvalan, and p. 166, for 

5. Ibid ., p. 66. 

6. Ibid ., p. 167. 


Yet apart from this, there are few references to the Soviet 22nd 

Congress in the Chilean 12th Congress documents, and in the final 

summing up of the Congress proceedings and decisions not one word is 

said about the Soviet Congress; instead of an explicit condemnation of 

the Albanians we find only a general condemnation of "revisionism and 


reformism, "as well as' r dogmatism and sectarianism,," 

Since then the Chilean Communists have done their best to play 
down the Sino-Soviet dispute „ Even in December 1962, when the conflict 
was already approaching its climax, no direct or indirect attacks on 
the Albanians or Chinese were to be found in the Chilean Communist press, 
and the attacks of European Communist parties on them were not properly 

reported,, Thus, Chilean Communist press reports on the Italian Communist 

Party Congress were most inadequate/ Chilean Party members therefore 

had to brief themselves on the conflict by reading the non-communist 

press „ Many who were not sophisticated enough to do so may well have 

remained unaware c the extent and significance of the conflict until 

they read Fidel Castr l> s speech of January 2nd with its fervent appeal 

for unity in the socialist camp. 

7. Ibid o 

8 Ibid., p. h09o 

9 At the time, the Chilean Communist newspaper El Siglo did indeed 
carry more than a page of excerpts from Palmiro Togliatti's main speech 
at the Italian Congress, including his defense of the policy of "peaceful 
coexistence" and a sharp reference to the "intolerable and absurd" 
attitude of the Albanian Communists (El S--glo, December 26, 1962) c But 
at this stage El Siglo reported neither Togliatti : s closing remarks with 
their open condemnation of the Chinese and defense of the Yugoslavs, nor 
Giancarlo Pajetta's speech on the same subject. 

10. In El Siglo, Jan. 3, 1963. 


The Pravda article of January 7, 1963, which for the first time 
mentioned the Chinese Party by name as backing the Albanian "dogmatists," 
finally forced the Chilean Party leadership out into the open. This 
article apparently convinced them that definite rupture between the 
Soviet Union and Red China and a schism in the communist world movement 
was now a definite probability, and that they would have to prepare 
their followers for this event. On January 9, the Chilean Party 

newspaper El Siglo published a dispatch by its Moscow correspondent 


spelling out the full significance of the Pravda article. Two weeks 

later, El Siglo began publication, in serial form, of the complete text 

of the article. The Party newspaper also published additional 

information on what had been said against the Albanians and the Chinese 

at the Italian Party Congress in December. At long last, one entire 

month late, it now also carried an extensive, two and one-half page 

version of Khrushchev's Supreme Soviet speech of December 12, including 

his polemic against the Albanians and his sarcastic remarks about the 

Chinese withdrawal in the Himalaya 3 „ 

11„ This di pa^ch by Joaquin Gutierrez stated that Pravda had refuted, 

one by one, ' 1 the accusations and calumnies of the Albanian Party 

and all the erroneous and prejudiced views of the Communist Party of China." 

12 e On January 20, 1963 

13. On January 9, 1963, in what purported to be a report on the Italian 
Party Congress by Chilean Politbureau member Manuel Cantero, but was in 
reality only • series of pertinent quotations from the Congress speeches 
of Palmiro To liatti, Frol Koslov and Giancarlo Pajetta. In the same 
report, the Chinese point of view, as stated by the CCP delegate Chao 
Yi-min, was presented in a completely garbled and unintelligible manner. 

III. On January 13, 1963. 

15>. At the East German Party Congress in January 1963, Chilean Polit- 
bureau member Orlando Millas declared his party' s solidarity with the 

The Chilean Party may thus be said to belong to that middle group 
of Communist parties which are fundamentally loyal to Moscow , but 
consider the Sino-Soviet issue a. painful subject not really fit for the 
ears of their followers. Up until a short time ago they were hoping 
against hope that by some miracle a reconciliation might be brought 
about. Yet besides fear of the negative effects of a Sino-Soviet 
split on their own party and or the communist world movement as a whole, 
there are deeper, political and ideological reasons for the marked 
reluctance which the Chilean Communists have displayed in joining the 
anti-Chinese forces „ 

The Popular Front Strategy of the Chilean Communists 
More than any other Communist party, not only in Latin America but 
in the entire world Communist movement , the Chilean Communists are 
committed to the strategy of the Popular Front „ This oolicy at first 
encountered considerable resistance among the old-timers of the Party 
leadership when it was forced upon them by the Peruvian Comintern agent 

Soviet Union in the following terms s "There are people whose actions 
harm us and factually benefit the enemy We are referring to those who 
appear to be seeking a schism in the communist movement, since they are 
resorting to calumnies against the I arty of Lenin itself, undermining 
the ideological and organizational principles, and producing the danger 
of factionalism,, As far as we are concerned, we energetically condemn 
the bourgeois nationalist positions and reiterate our protest against 
the provocations of the Albanian leaders, and declare our intention of 
maintaining an intransigent struggle against the disease of sectarianism- 
dogmatism and against revisionism,," The Millas declaration was 
reproduced in full in El Siglo of February 3. 5 but apart from this, El 
Siglo' s reports from the East German Party congress were again too 
fragmented and too heavily censored to give the reader any idea of what 
was really going on. 

H l6 

Eudocio Ravines in 1935 „ But it did not take long for the leadership 
and cadres to convince themselves of the efficacy of the Popular Front 

policy, which proved to be the magic, wand whose touch converted a small 

and persecuted sect into a major political power. 

Already in 1938 the Popular Front coalition of Communists , 

Socialists and Radicals won the presidential election for the Radical 

candidate Pedro Aguirre Cerda, and in 19U6 another victorious Popular 

Front candidate. Radical party leader Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, actually 

took three Communists into his cabinet. It is true that he soon 

expelled them and even forced the party into clandestinity, but the 

16 8 See Ravines 3 own account in La Gran Estafa , Irth ed. (Santiago de 
Chile ; Editorial del Pacifico, 1957), chapters VIII, IX. A fascinating 
account of the impact of Ravines' personality an 1 policies is to be 
found in the autobiography of the Chilean ex-communist Marta Vergara, 
Memoria s de una mujer irreverente (Santiago de Chile; Empresa Editor a 
Zig-Zag, 196277 specifically in part II, chapters 3-10. On the other 
hand, the communist veteran Elias Lafertte displays complete disregard 
for the truth in claiming that Ravines had only posed as a Comintern 
emissary, had immediately been unmasked as an impostor but then, "partly 
out of weakness and lack of cadres," had been permitted to stay and work 
for the Chilean Party (vd. Elias Lafertte, Vida de un Comunista , Paginas 
Autobiograf icas , 2nd ed. (Santiago de Chiles Talleres Graficos Horizonte, 
1961) ; p. 326) . Lafertte had been one of the Old Guard Party leaders 
temporarily eclipsed when Ravines arrived from Moscow in 1935 to take 
command of the Chilean Party. 

17. The hardships of life as a militant communist in Chile in the early 
nineteen- thirties are well described in Marta Vergara, op_. cit ., Part 2, 
chapters 1-6, 

18. ^y the Law for the Defense of Democracy, 19^8. Under the provisions 
of this law, several hundred Communists were deported to the small port 
of Pisagua, a ghost town on the edge of the great northern desert. That 
this was a place of banishment but not a concentration camp in the Nazi 
sense of the word, as communist propaganda would have it, can be seen 
from the description of conditions there in the novel La Semilla en la 
Arena (Santiago de Chile; Empresa Editora Austral, 19577, whose author 

is the Communist Politbureau member Volodia Teitelboim. The Law for the 
Defense of Democracy was applied with less rigidity and finally repealed 
by Videla' s successor Ibanez. 


experience at least proved that it was possible in Chile for the 

Communists to get into the government - if not to stay there - by 

democratic means. 

Through the Gonzalez Videla episode, the Communists lost the 

friendship of the middle-of-the-road Radicals, the numerically strongest 

party in Chile. However, the Communist leadership have since managed 

to rebuild a Popular Front on a reduced scale, with the participation 

of the Socialists and of several small left-of -center non-Marxist 

groups. This coalition, the FRAP (Frente de Accion Popular , Popular 

Action Front) , made a good showing in the 1958 presidential elections 

with the rather unimpressive Socialist candidate Salvador Allende 


Gossen With the same candidate, they are believed to have a very 

real chance of winning the next election in 19614. 

19« The story of Gonzalez Videla y s dealings with the Communists affords 
a typical example of the inadvisability of judging Latin American politics 
by European standards . Ever since t e Bene§ experience in Czechoslovakia, 
European and North American observers automatically assume the installation 
of a Popular Front government to be the end of democracy and they tend to 
regard non-communist politicians who collaborate with the Communists as 
mere stooges or "useful idiots." Yet in Chile, Gonzalez Vi ela used 
Communist voting strength and organizational skill to win a presidential 
election and then managed to get rid of his helpers with comparative ease. 
A similar feat was accomplished in Ecuador by President Velasco Ibarra, 
who in 19h6 turned against the Communists who had participat d in the 
revolutionary coup which brought him to power. (See Robert J. Alexander, 
Communism in Latin America (New Brunswick, New Jerseys Rutgers University 
Press, 19577) 

We are accustomed to regard the Communists as invariably and 
inevitably being the double-crossers, but in Latin America they are also 
sometimes the double-crossed. It would be rash to assume, however, that 
the Chil ean Communists have learnt nothing from their experience with 
Gonzalez Videla and will again allow themselves to be shaken off bj a 
future Popular Front president. For the Popular Front policy of the 
Chilean Communists, vd„ Alexander, op_„ cit ., pp. 189 ff, and Victor Alba, 
Esquema del Comunismo en Ibero-america , pp. 110 ff . 

20. Within the Radical Party there is still, however, a leftist wing 
which would be willing to participate in a Popular Front. 

21. 356,000 votes as against 389,000 for the Liberal Alessandri, 255,000 
for the Christian Democrat Frei and 192,000 for the Radical Bossay. 

The Communist leaders themselves are evidently fairly confident of 
victory at the polls. As for the danger of a military coup in order to 
prevent the elections from being held or their result from being ratified- 
an occurrence not altogether unheard of in some Latin American countries— 
Chilean Communist Party Secretary General Luis Corvalan, in a recent 

article in the international Communist monthly Problems of Peace and 

Socialism , admitted that this was "the principal latent danger." Yet 

Corvalan went on to express his doubts as to whether such a coup will 

actually be attempted. In what for a Communist is a remarkable tribute 

to the democratic traditions and institutions of his country, he wrote: 

But one must also point out that a coup d'etat destined 
to install a de facto government of fascist type would 
encounter very serious difficulties. The immense majority 
of the nation is opposed to coups. The government parties 
themselves are in the habit of exalting what they call 
representative democracy pnd present Chile as an example of 
democratic government .nd constitutional normalcy. Such 
preaching has an echo in the citizenry, so that the ruling 
classes, if they wanted to take this road /the road of the 
coup d ' e^tat . E U^J 9 would be left with a precarious social 
base in the face of mass resistance „ 23 


The Communists have already announced that in the event of a 

FRAP victory in 196l|, they intend to participate in the government in 

22. The Chilean edition is published in Santiago | its contents are 
identical with those of the other editions but the cover page is 
different and it is entitled Nuestra Epoca . The article by Luis 
Corvalan referred to is entitled "La lucha por la formacidn de un 
gobierno popular en Chile" (The Struggle for the Formation of a People's 
Government in Chile). It was published in the issue of Nuestra Epoc a 
dated "Nr. 12, December 1962," which actually only appeared on the book- 
stalls on January 15, 1963. 

23. Loc . cit . 

2I4. In a speech by Secretary General Luis Corvalan at a public session 
of the Communist Central Committee in the Caopolican Theatre in Santiago, 
on January $, 1963, as reported by the Communist newspaper El Siglo 
(Santiago), Jan. 6, 1963. 


strength. ' Since they control FRAP as they never controlled the old 
Popular Fronts they would doubtless determine the entire policy of a 

FRAP government. In a speech at a public session of the Central 

Committee of the Communist Party of Chile, in which the formal 

decision to support the candidacy of Socialist leader Salvador Allende 

in the 1961+ presidential election was proclaimed, Luis Corvalan explained 

that Allende ! s FRAP regime would not yet be a socialist regime: 

The supporters of the candidacy of Salvador Allende intend 
to constitute a popular, national, democratic, anti-imperialist, 
anti-feudal, anti-monopolist government, and nothing more. The 
government which we want to establish has no other attributes, 
and none should be attributed to it. 27 

On the other hand, Corvalan made it quite clear that a FRAP regime, 
while not yet socialist, would mean a considerable step forward on the 
road to socialism; 

Once more we declare that we also want Chile to become a 
socialist and then a communist country „ But in order to arrive 
at socialism, we first have to accomplish what we have now set 
out to accomplish,, Each thing to its hour, each historical task 
to its appointed time. In other words; we want to make a tr - in- 
ride to Puerto Montt. But in order to reach Puerto Montt we have 
to pass through some intermediate point, say Chilian., It is now 
a matter of reaching exactly this point 

25. In the speech referred to in ftn„ 23? Corvalan declared that the 
government to be formed in the event of a Popular Front victory in the 
presidential election of 1961+ was to be '^constituted by all the parties 
which contributed to its advent to power, in proportion to the (voting) 
strength of each of them." Judging by the results of previous general 
and municipal elections, the Communists are the largest of the parties 
participating in the FRAP alliance, 

26. The Santiago speech referred to in ftn. 23 « 

27. El Siglo , Jan. 6, 1963* 

28. Puerto Montt is a port in southern Chile. Chilian is a railroad 
junction halfway between Santiago and Puerto Montt, 

In the same speech, Corvalan affirmed his belief that Chile was one 
of those countries in which, in accordance with the Theses of the Soviet 
20th Party Congress, a peaceful transition to socialism was possible; 

As regards our country, we believe that the Chilean revolution 
can take place under circumstances which will make extreme measures 
absolutely unnecessary,, We can say mores no honorable person need 
harbor fears „ Nobody will be persecuted for his ideas and creed. 
There will be no n round-ups" or administrative persecutions of a 
political nature „ 29 

In elucidating his ideas on what, the policy of a FRAP government 
would be, Corvalan also made a most surprising foreign policy statement: 

We desire a Chile outside the confines of the military blocs. 
These are a reality, but we want Chile to leave the North American 
bloc without entering another bloc. Of the two great military 
blocs now in existence, the one headed by the Soviet Union is a 
defensive military bloc, constituted by the socialist states of 
Europe after the creation of NATO, and open to any country desirous 
of incorporating itself By the nature of the countries which form 
it, it is a military grouping created by and for peace, while NATO, 
by the nature of imperialism, is intrinsically aggressive. 

The Communists of Chile and of the entire world are for the 
simultaneous disappearance of the military blocs. The road to the 
disappearance of the blocs is the road of general and complete 
world disarmament. „ 

„ .We want the future people's government to be directed by the 
principles of self-determination and non-intervention, of friend- 
ship and equal relations with all nations, of the struggle against 
colonialism and for peace and world disarmament. 30 

The Chilean Trotskyites have denounced this statement as being 

"anti-Soviet M ^ Yet it seems highly unlikely that Corvalan would have 

29. Loc„ cit c 

30. Loc. cit. 

31. In an article by Emilio Pratti in the Trotskyite newssheet Vanguardia 
Popular , organ of the "Partido Obrero Revolucionario (Trotskista) ," Nr. 36, 
'^second fortnight of January 19630" 


made such a declaration if he had not been certain of Soviet Party and 
Government approval. 

The Chilean and the Sino-Cuban Road to Power 
The above Chilean Communist program clearly clashes with Chinese 
views on at least two vital issues: 

1„ The Chilean Communists stand for neutralism, whereas the 
Chinese Communists consider neutralism to be not enough, or just a mask 
to hide the face of neo-colonialism 

2„ Although their real intentions may be very different, the 
Chilean Communists loudly proclaim their belief in the gradual, peaceful 
roal to socialism, which was first declared feasible by the Soviet 
Twentieth Congress in 1956. The Chinese Communists do not accept this 

Soviet revision of Lenin's doctrine of the inevitability of armed 



On both points, the Chilean Communist program is also diametri- 
cally opposed to Fidel Castro's foreign policy „ 

Fidel Castro has rejected neutralism and neutrality. Time and 
again, he has proclaimed Cuba to be part of the "socialist camp e " Ever 
since the Bay of Pigs landing he has striven for full membership status 

in this camp, and if he has not yet been granted this favor, it is not 


for want of trying „ 

32. Lenin's doctrine that peaceful transition to socialism was 
impossible in the present era of "imperialism as the last stage of 
capitalism" was specifically revoked by the decisions of the Twentieth 
Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. 

33 a In order to attain full membership status in the "socialist camp" 
and the communist world movement, Castro would have to obtain recognition 


What is far more serious for the Chilean Communists is that their 
policy of using democratic elections as the road to power is in direct 
contradiction to the Cuban policy of promoting armed insurrection in 
Latin America. 

Fidel Castro is a firm believer in the necessity of armed insur- 
rection. Thus, in July 1961, in a five-hour conversation with a 
group of American and European journalists , he forcibly expressed his 
conviction that in Latin America at least, armed insurrection was the 

only way to achieve social reform^ since "the military camarillas' 1 would 


topple any government that attempted peaceful reforms . 

Consistency is not one of Castro's virtues 3 but there is not the 
slightest indication that he has changed his views on this particular 
issue. On the contrary 5 the Cuban foreign policy setback in October 
1962 has made Castro and his group even more insistent on the need for 
armed insurrection „ They apparently now regard the spreading of the 
revolution to other Latin American countries as the only way out of 

as a "'brother party" for his "United Party of the Socialist Revolution" 
( Fartido Unificado de la Revolucion Socialista,, PURS) by the Communist 
parties of the Soviet Union and other members of the family of "Communist 
and Workers' Parties 5 " and these parties would have to establish official 
relations (through the exchange of party delegations, etc.) with PURS. 
Such recognition has not yet been forthcoming . As a matter of fact, 
although the formation of the "Party of the Socialist Revolution" was 
announced as imminent by Fidel Castro as early as July 26 3 1961 (see 
the Havana newspaper La Revolucion of July 27, 196l), and although the 
Party has factually been in existence since at least August 196l, it 
has not yet at this time of writing got round to holding its founding 
congress. In the face of Castro's pronounced eagerness to get his 
Party going, it is difficult to imagine what technical obstacles inside 
Cuba could have caused this delay. 

3lu See, e.g., Theodore Draper, "Castro and Communism," The Reporter , 
Jan. 17, 1963. Draper states that "the chief issue binding Castro's 
Cuba and Mao's China is that of violence." 

35. See my account of this conversation in Die Zeit (Hamburg), Jan c 5 

their difficulties. Thus, according to the UPI version of an interview 
given by Ernesto Guevara in December 1962 to a correspondent of the 
London Daily Worker , Guevara declared that the most efficacious type of 
aid which international communism could give to Latin America was "the 
armed struggle which is already taking place in various Latin American 
countries." About the same time, in a brilliant summary of Cuban 
foreign policy after the withdrawal of the Soviet missiles, Agence 
France Press' Havana correspondent Jean Huteau reported that: 

^/Castro/ appears to be convinced that the only political 
solution, if the revolution is to survive, is to be found in 
Latin America. Cuba needs a point of support in its own 
hemisphere. All its further efforts will therefore be concen- 
trated on this objective. Castro thus sees himself condemned 
to a dynamic of expansion of the revolution. His policy, 
which suffered a harsh setback in the November crisis, now 
has to gather force for what in the language of sport is called 
H the final sprint." 37 

There is evidence that the Havana government is actively fomenting 
disorder and insurrection in several Latin American countries. In Peru, 
the ruling military junta has accused Cuba of being implicated in recent 
attempts to spark off a revolution. These claims, though inadequately 
substantiated in themselves, are rendered plausible by the vast 
publicity given to the Peruvian disturbances by the Havana news agency 
Prensa Latina, and by Prensa Latina's efforts to build up a reputation 

as a sort of Peruvian Fidel Castro for the amateur guerrilla chieftain 

Hugo Blanco. 

36. Retranslated from the Spanish version of a UPI dispatch datelined 

New York, December 10, 1962, as published by El Mercurio (Santiago), Dec. 11, 

37. Retranslated from the Spanish version of an AFP dispatch datelined 
La Habana, December 18, 1962, as published by El Mercurio , December 19. 

38. Vd., e.g., the Prensa Libre dispatches headlined "Hugo Blanco 
leading guerrillas," datelined Lima, December 27, 1962, "Six Million 


In Venezuela, the terrorists and saboteurs who are striving to 
bring about the collapse of the democratic system of government make no 

attempt to hide their Cuban affiliation,, and their strategy and tactics 

are clearly inspired by Havana. The Caracas student Carlota Perez was 

spouting unadulterated Castroite doctrine when she told Donald Moffitt 

of the Wall Street Journal ; "We want to force the enemies of the people 

to resort to military dictatorship. Then the people will rise in 

revolt. "^ 

It is a tenet of Castroite doctrine, as laid down by Ernesto 

Guevara in his book, La Guerra de Guerrillas , that only military 

distatorship creates a climate favorable to armed insurrection. Hence 

the Venezuelan Castroites, who want their revolution in a hurry, are 

trying to force the abdication of the democratic, left-of-center 

Betancourt government in favor of a military dictatorship as a 

Peruvian peasants fighting to get their land back," datelined Lima, 
December 30, 1962, and "Ferocious massacre of peasants in Peru, k3 
killed, 70 wounded," datelined Havana, January 1st, in the Chilean 
Communist El Siglo , Dec. 28, Dec. 31, 1962 and Jan. 2, 1963 respec- 

39. In November 1962 Castroite terrorists in Venezuela began their 
campaign of destruction against the installations of foreign oil 
companies. In her book Adids al Canaveral , (Buenos Aires: Editorial 
Goyanarte, 1962), p. 109, the Chilean writer Ma tilde Ladrdn de 
Guevara reports that Fidel Castro advocated this measure in a conver- 
sation with Venezuelan and other Latin American sympathizers as early 
as May 3, 1961. According to Matilde Ladrdn de Guevara, Fidel's actual 
words were: "What we want... is bombs to destroy the oil derricks of 
the Gringos in Venezuela." A dip's al Canaveral was published months 
before the beginning of the Venezuelan campaign of sabotage. 

Ii0. Retranslated from a UPI dispatch datelined New York, Dec. 27, 1962, 
in the Santiago El Mercurio of Dec. 28. 

Ul. Ernesto Guevara, La Guerra de Guerrillas , (La Habana, 1959), Chap. 
I. Guevara's book is by far the most important ideological pronouncement 
so far produced by the Cuban revolution. 


prerequisite to insurrection. There is a world of difference between 
this strategy and that of the Chilean Communists, who are striving to 

attain power within the framework of the democratic system, by a 


victory at the polls. 

The Chilean Communist leader Luis Corvalan is well aware of the 
discrepancy between his policy and that of Fidel Castro. He explicitly 
refers to this problem in his article in Problems of Peace and Socialism , 
in which he writes : 

From the fact that in Cuba the revolution came about by an 
armed struggle, some draw the conclusion that this is the only 
road for all the countries of our continent. But the matter 
does not permit categorical assertions. The great contribution 
of Cuba consists, primarily, in that it has made the revolution 
and demonstrated the possibility of breaking with imperialism in 
Latin America; secondly, in that it has demonstrated the possi- 
bility of embarking on the road of constructing socialism, and 
thirdly, in that it has demonstrated that the triumph of a 
people's revolution, a national liberation revolution and, after 
that, of a socialist revolution, is not inevitably linked with 
an international war. 

As for the manner of making the revolution, history has 
justified Fidel Castro More than that, one can take it for 
certain that the road taken there is, in general terms, also 
the most probably one in other countries, and perhaps in the 
majority of the nations of our continent. But one cannot be 
certain that this will be the way in all of them. Such an 
assumption would lead to the abondonment of positions already 
conquered and to the neglect of real possibilities. 

At this stage of the development of events in Chile, one 
may affirm that objectively, the revolutionary process is taking 
place by peaceful means, by the road which, in accordance with 
realities, has been marked out by our Party. ^3 

This passage certainly does not convey the impression that Corvalan 
is eager to pick a quarrel with Fidel Castro His attitude towards the 

!i2. Of course this does not mean that once they were in power, the 
Chilean Communists 1 methods would be intrinsically different from or 
more democratic than those of Castro. 

1*3. Nuestra Epoca , Nr. 12, December 1962. 

Cuban leader is almost deferential. He pays tribute to the Cuban's 
great contribution to the cause of world Communism in having proved 
that socialist revolution is feasible in Latin America,, He admits 
that the Cuban road is the correct one for some Latin American 
countries, and possibly even for the majority of them. All he really 
asks is for an exception to be made in the case of Chile 

Yet the fact that this article has been published in the inter- 
national Communist monthly does constitute a rebuff for Castro. In 
this way the Communist parties of Latin America are being told by the 
Moscow leadership that they need not necessarily follow Castro's call 
to armed insurrection,, since at least in some of the countries there is 
also the possibility of a peaceful transition. 

Two weeks after the Corvalan article had been published in Prague, 
Fidel Castro made a speech which in part was apparently a direct, 
public reply to the article. In this reply, Castro grudgingly admitted 
that theoretically speaking, the possibility of a peaceful transition 
to socialism might exist somewhere in Latin America. But he did this 
with extraordinarily bad grace, indicating that he himself did not 
really believe in such a possibility? 

We do not deny the possibility of a peaceful transition, 
although we are still waiting for the first such case. But we 
do not deny it, since we are not dogmatists „ 

14i. The Chilean and other Latin American communists owe a heavy debt 
of gratitude to Fidel Castro for this „ Before he adopted Communism, 
it had been widely assumed in the world Communist movement — -and 
Guatemala had seemed to prove the case— that the United States would 
smash any Communist revolution in the Western Hemisphere. 

In the same speech, which was made in the closing session of an 
international women's congress in Havana, Castro also declared it to be 
the duty of communist leaders to lead the masses to insurrection: 

And this is the duty of the revolutionary leaders and 
organizations? to get the masses to march, to launch the 
masses into battle „ And that is what was done in Algeria, 
and that is what the patriots are now doing in South Vietnam, 

Further on in his speech,, Castro complained that some Latin 
American Communist parties were disregarding the Cuban appeal for 
insurrection, and insisted that "objective conditions'* for insur- 
rection existed in the majority of Latin American countries; 

The theoreticians of imperialism may preach conformism$ 
the theoreticians of revolution should fearlessly preach 

That is what we think, and that is what we have said in 
the Declaration of Havana, a declaration which in some brother 
countries received the honor, by some revolutionary organiza- 
tions, of being "honorably shelved, n instead of being publicized 
as it deserves „ That is as if we now shelved everything that 
you have been discussing here /at the women's congress. E.H^/s 
and indeed, if we do not want the masses to take note of it we 
have to shelve it„ But if we tell the masses that such and such 
is the situation, we also have to tell them what road to take, 
and to lead them into battle, for this road is much easier, in 
many countries of Latin America, than it was in Cuba, 

I want to clarify, so that the theoreticians do not raise 
a fuss, that we are not making an irresponsible generalization: 

h5>. In one passage of his speech Castro even speaks of "the immense 
majority of Latin American countries in which objective conditions 
exist 5 and the imperialists have recognized quite clearly that the 
objective conditions exist, but the subjective conditions are 
lacking. And these subjective conditions must be created, „„" 
Incidentally: the assertion that in our contemporary world the 
objective conditions for revolution exist almost everywhere, and 
that it is the fault of "subjective conditions" (i e o , a lack of 
revolutionary determination in the Communist parties) if the 
revolution fails to come about , is one of the major doctrinal tenets 
of Trotskyism, 


I want to clarify that we know that each country has its 
specific conditions, and that is why we do not generalize. 
But we do say: the majority. We know that there are 
exceptions, we know that there are countries in which these 
objective conditions do not exist , but they exist in the 
majority of Latin American countries, ^6 

It would be a great mistake to regard this debate on "peaceful 
transition" and "objective conditions for insurrection" as a discussion 
of abstract ideological principles. It is indeed conducted in the 
language of Marxist-Leninist ideology, but its content lies wholly in 
the realm of practical politics. One may indeed say that for both 
protagonists, the Cuban and the Chilean, it is a matter of life and 

Fidel Castro is faced with a disastrous economic situation. He 
knows very well that he cannot hold out indefinitely, and that social- 
ism restricted to one lonely Carribean island ninety miles from the 
United States coast cannot work. His only hope is for the revolution 
to spread to other Latin American countries. And conditions in Cuba 
are now so bad that he needs his revolutions in a hurry. That is why 
he insists that "objective conditions" for insurrection are ripe in the 
majority of Latin American countries. He wants to stampede the Communist 

lj6. The above quotations from Castro's 16th of January 1963 speech in 
the closing session of the Havana "Congress of American Women" are from 
an abreviated Prensa Latina version published by El Siglo of January 
18, On January 17, El Siglo had published only a brief and quite 
innocuous summary of this speech, while the non-communist press ran 
some of the more pungent passages. The publication of a more complete 
version on January 18 would appear to have been induced by protests 
from EJL Siglo 's Communist readers. The January 18 version, though 
incomplete, includes many statements that are directly contradictory 
to Corvalan's theses. On the other hand,, Khrushchev's Supreme Soviet 
speech of December 12, 1962, with its polemic against the Albanians 
and Chinese, had to wait a full month for publication in EJL Siglo (vd, 
supra ) , It is apparently easier for the Chilean Communist press to 
censor Nikita Khrushchev than Fidel Castro. 

parties of Latin America into insurrection, in the hope that one of 
them might possibly succeed, even if others are smashed in the attempt. 

A man in Castro's desperate situation can have little use for 
Communist politicians like Corvalan who tell him that in the autumn of 
19&U, almost two years from now, they may possibly win an election. 
Corvalan on the other hand knows that it would be suicidal folly for 
the Chilean Communists to attempt an armed rising. As he has shown by 


his words in the above-cited article, he is well aware of the strength 
of the democratic and legalistic tradition in Chile. The mood of the 
country would turn against the Communists if they attempted a rising as 
surely as he himself hopes that it would turn against a rightist coup 
d'etat . The rising would be bound to fail, and the Communists would 
lose not only their chance for a victory at the polls, but also all 
that they have painstakingly built up during the past decades. 

Yet although on vital points Chilean Communist and Cuban interests 
are diametrically opposed, Corvalan can ill afford an open quarrel with 
Fidel Castro. Castro enjoys vast popularity among the Chilean Left. 
His propaganda value to the Communists has been immense. A conflict 
with him would throw the entire Left into confusion. With an election 
approaching, the consequences would be disastrous. 

Although Chileans, whether of the Left or of the Right, traditionally 
look to Europe and not to Asia for guidance, and Peking therefore appears 
to have little direct influence or prestige with the Chilean Communists, 
the Sino-Soviet rift in itself is an awkward matter for the Chilean 

hi. In Nuestra Epoca , Nr. 12, December 1962. 

Party. It is rendered far more painful and dangerous by the fact that 
on vital issues, the Soviet Union is at variance not only with Red 
China but also with Fidel Castro's Cuba. 

Yet there are still deeper reasons for the Chilean Communists' 
discomfort at the Sino-Soviet conflict. 

The Anti-Americanism of the Chilean Communists 
While differing with Peking and Havana on such matters as the 
possibility of a peaceful transition to socialism and the evaluation 
of neutrality and neutralism, the Chilean Communists are closer to the 
Red Chinese and Cubans than to the Russians in at least one respect? 
the violence of their an ti -Americanism, 

The anti -American propaganda of the Chilean Communists today is 
even cruder, more savage and more lurid than the worst efforts of 
Soviet and European satellite propaganda at the height of the Cold War 
in 19ii9-53o At its worst, it rivals the propaganda of certain Asian 
Communist parties, and that, indeed, is where Chilean Communist 
propagandists sometimes seek inspiration- — some of their atrocity 
stories being lifted out of North Korean and North Vietnamese government 

Thus, El Siglo reporter Fernando Murillo Viana, in a story titled 
"The Yankees try out Chemical Warfare in Vietnam" claims that the 
"Yankees" tell South Vietnamese tribesmen that they can assure themselves 
of great physical strength by devouring the liver of a Vietnamese guerrilla- 
fighter, and then offer payment to those who "can present proof of having 
eaten a guerrilla-fighter's liver." El Siglo backs this up with a 
photograph of two disembowelled corpses and the caption: "The Yankees 


pay money to those natives who prove that they have eaten the liver 


of an enemy," 

In a previous report on North Korea, Murillo Vjana revived the old 
cold war story of American bacteriological warfare in Korea, which to 
our knowledge has not been repeated in the Soviet or European satelli 
press since at least 1955. And one of Murillo Viana's favorite themes 
is that the behavior of United States troops in North Korea and South 

Vietnam is by no means better than that of the Nazis during the Second 


World War. 

Other recent Chilean Communist exercises in anti -American 

1. An El Siglo front-page story on January 11, 1963, claiming 
that the United States government is conspiring with Bolivia to take 
away Chile's northern port of Arica and to turn it into a U.S. military 
base nominally under Bolivian sovereignty. 

2. An entire page in El Siglo of January 13, 196 3, devoted to an 
attack on International Bank and Ford Foundation aid to Chilean regional 
colleges. El Siglo claims that the purpose of this aid is to degrade 

18. El Siglo, January 13, 1963, 

k9» El Siglo , December 30, 1962. 

50„ Thus, in his report on South Vietnam in El Siglo of January 13, 
1963, Murillo Viana claims that American aviators are deliberately 
poisoning and blinding Vietnamese peasants by spraying them with 
corrosive chemicals. He then continues: "Here in Chile, there is at 
present a great press campaign against the Nazi Rauff, who killed 
ninety-six thousand Jews in gas trucks. What is the difference between 
him and the North American aviators who at this moment are committing 
crimes as terrible as those we have described?" 


Chilean colleges to the level of vocational training centers, and cites 
as typical, examples of United States college education that "the University 
of Florida confers a degree of elevator attendant and Pasadena City College 
graduates circus clowns." 

One would imagine this type of anti -American propaganda to be 
self-defeating in its absurdity, but that is by no means the case. I 
have met educated, non-Communist Chileans who are ready to believe 
literally anything which the Communist press writes against the United 
States. Anti-Americanism is far more widespread and virulent— even 

among anti -Communists — in Chile than in Mexico, although the Mexicans 


would certainly have better reasons for harboring resentment. 

Chilean anti -Americanism, as one soon discovers when debating with 
those who profess it, is a highly irrational state of mind. It appears 
to stem mainly from a feeling of frustrated national pride, caused by 
the contrast between the country's vast potentialities on the one hand, 

and poverty of many of its inhabitants on the other, and from the need 


to find a scapegoat for this state of affairs. Under these 

51. While relations between Chile and the United States were never 
troubled by anything worse than United States diplomatic support for 
Chile's rivals Peru and Bolivia, Mexico has more than once suffered 
invasion, defeat and occupation at the hands of its northern neighbor, 
to whom it lost half its national territory through the war of l81;7. 

52. Albert 0. Hirschman points out that the present fashion of attri- 
buting all the ills besetting Latin America to foreign and specifically 
North American imperialism was preceded by a long period of self- 
incrimination, an "extraordinary orgy of self -denigration, self-laceration 
and pessimism," and cites the noted Chilean historian Francisco Encina's 
book Nuestra inferioridad economic a; Sus causas , sus consecuencias (Santiago, 
1912) as a typical and highly interesting example of this attitude. (See 
"Ideologies of Economic Development in Latin America," by Albert 0. 
Hirschman, in Latin American Issues , Essay s and Comments , edited by Albert 

0. Hirschman (New York: The Twentieth Century Fund, 1961). The present 
craze of anti -Americanism would appear to be a reaction from the earlier 
pose of wildly exaggerated self -denigration. 


circumstances, anti -Americanism is certainly one of the most effective 
weapons in the Chilean Communists 11 propaganda arsenal. 

But the anti-Americanism of the Chilean Communists is not 
incidental, and the virulence of their smear campaign cannot be 
attributed to the idiosyncracies of the Chilean mind. This campaign is 
an integral — and very essential— part of the Popular Front strategy. 

The old Popular Front of the nineteen-thirties was a defensive 
alliance of leftist and center groups against a very real menace — 
Fascism. In promoting this alliance, the Communists did not aspire to 

power, and in consequence they refused to participate in Popular Front 


governments even though they supported them. 

In behaving with such reticence, the Communist parties were but 
serving the interests of the Soviet Union. The Soviet government at 
that time was desperately anxious to emerge from isolation and establish 
an anti -German alliance with the Western powers. It therefore ordered 
the Comintern to adopt the policy of the Popular Front, the purpose of 
this policy being: a) to placate democratic public opinion in the West, 
which had become incensed at the Soviet Union by the Comintern's 
previous ultra-left policy of undermining and destroying democracy in 
Germany and elsewhere, and b) to influence Western governments in favor 
of an anti-German alliance with the Soviet Union, and if possible to 
install governments willing to implement such an alliance under the 
name of "collective security." Since Communist participation in Popular 

53. Thus in France, 1936, and Chile, 1938. Even in Spain, the 
Communists only joined the Popular Front government after the rebelli- 
ous generals had plunged the country into civil war. 

Front governments would have alienated large sectors of public opinion 

and thus played into the hands of Rightist anti -Bolshevik propagandists, 


the Communist parties of the West were ordered to support but not par- 


ticipate in such governments 

5iu Historians who fail to take into account the international situation 
prevailing in the nine teen-thirties often interpret the Popular Front 
policy of those days as a mere Macchiavellian method of attaining power 
by demoralizing, corrupting, and ultimately subjugating their naive non- 
Communist allies. This over-simplified interpretation is backed by the 
evidence of at least one important witness; the former Comintern agent 
Eudocio Ravines. In his book The Yenan Wav_ Ravines relates that in 
Moscow, late in 193k $ he was initiated into the secrets of the Popular 
Front strategy by the Chinese Communist leaders Mao Tse-tung and Li 
Li-san. He declares that the Chinese leaders described the Popular 
Front policy (or "Yenan Way," as he also terms it) as a gigantic trick, 
the sole purpose of which was to corrupt the Party's allies and to 
reduce them— in Mao's words—to the status of? 

...people who serve uss out of greed, fear, interest, 
inferiority, vengeance, or whatever it may be] but who 
serve us. Who serve the Communist Party, who serve the 
designs of the Comintern, who serve the cause of 
revolution, (translated from page 9h of an abridged 
Chilean edition of The Yenan Wajjr, published under the 
title La Gran Estafa, by Editorial del Pacifico, Uth 
edition, Santiago 1957.) 

Against this we have the testimony of the Chilean ex-communist 
Marta Vergara, who was a close collaborator of Ravines during the time 
when he directed the Chilean. Communist Party, and whose husband Marcos 
Chamudes was actually Ravines' right-hand man. In her autobiography, 
Me morias de una Mujer irreverent e, she makes it appear quite clear that 
Ravines had never described the Popular Front policy to her as a trick, 
and that she had not heard of the term "the Yenan Way" until she read 
his book, which was published in 195-1. She apparently to this day 
considers the Popular Front of the nineteen-thirties to have been a 
genuine and positive effort to stop the progress of Fascism. Although 
in general she writes of Ravines with respect and understanding, she 
condemns his interpretation of the Popular Front policy with the words: 
"Never has a son been depicted with less love by his father. In his 
passion to hurt the international leaders, Ravines smites his own 
creation in its best and most positive aspects," ( Memorias de una 
mujer irreverente , p. 130.) 


It was precisely the defensive character of the old Popular Front 
which in several countries attracted large numbers of democratically 
minded people to its banners. They rightly regarded Fascism as a 
threat to their ideals and to their way of life, and they were ready 
to accept even the Communists as allies in the face of this threat. 

But FRAP, the postwar Popular Front now operating in Chile, is 
something entirely different. It is not a defensive but an offensive 
alliance. Its purpose is not to block the road to Fascism but to 
install a Communist-controlled government which will take the first 
steps towards what the Communists call "Socialism," i.e., a political 
and economic system of the Soviet type. 

Of course this perspective is not very attractive to anyone except 
to the Communists themselves and those completely under their sway, who 
do not provide sufficient voting strength for an election victory. In 
order to win at the polls, the Communists must therefore present FRAP 
as something which it is not: namely, as a defensive alliance against 
a threat as great as the one which Fascism represented in the nineteen- 
thirties. The role of bogey is assigned to the United States for the 
simple reason that it happens to be, today, the Soviet Union's main 
opponent in the international field. ' And since the United States is 
not really a threat to the ideals and way of life of democratic Chileans, 
it has to be falsely depicted as such through a campaign of vilification. 

55. As the Christian Democratic Party of Chile has pointed out in a 
long letter to the Chilean Communists (published in El Mercurio , 
February 3* 1963), Communist propaganda was silent on the subject of 
"Yankee imperialism" as long as the United States were allied to the 
Soviet Union, and even undertook to prevent strikes which might have 
harmed North American enterprises in Chile , 


The United States , according to Chilean Communist propaganda, is a 
vampire sucking the life-blood from Latin America in general and Chile 
in particular. It goes without saying that the Chilean Communists 
present trade with the United States, and all private investment by 

United States firms in Chile, as mere exploitation leading to the 


impoverishment of the Chilean nation. But according to them, loans 

by the World Bank and similar institutions, Foundation grants, and all 
forms of United States government aid, are also highly obnoxious, their 

sole purpose being to tie Chile closer and further subjugate it to 

"Yankee imperialism,," The Chilean Communists present United States 


foreign policy as being basically hostile to Chile, and American 

tourists to their country as being spies. As for the military forces 

of the United States: the Chilean Communists accuse them of war crimes 

as bad as those of the Nazis in World War II, of having resorted to 

bacteriological warfare in Korea, of now waging chemical warfare against 

56 See, i.a., the Chilean Communist Central Committee member Jose* 
Cademartori ' s contribution in Nuestra Epoca, Nr. 6, June 1962. 
Cademartori writes: "The looting of the Latin American countries by 
the foreign monopolies, principally by the North Americans, is the 
principal cause of their economic backwardness." 

57 o Even the Socialist allies of the Chilean CP do not fully accept 
this. Thus, Socialist Party Secretary Raul Ampuero, in a debate last 
spring asked why Chile should not accept American aid if this was 
permitted to such countries as Poland and Yugoslavia. See La Polemica 
Socialista Comunista (Santiago: Prensa Latino-Americana SA, 1962). 

58. Vd, supra . 

59 o An El Siglo cartoon on January 30, 1963 shows an American tourist 
telling a Chilean: "Me Yankee tourist. Me adore Latin American 
countries." Whereupon the Chilean replies: "Yes? And since when are 
you in the expionage service?" 


defenseless South Vietnamese peasants, and even of encouraging 


cannibalistic practices in South Vietnam, 

If the Communists really manage to imprint this image of the United 
States on the minds of a sizable proportion of the Chilean population, 
they will be able to whip up hatred against all opponents of their anti- 
American policies. In the event of a FRAP victory in the presidential 
election, they will thus be able to intimidate, silence, and if 
necessary even to impeach as traitorous all parliamentary opposition 
against such measures as the nationalization of the United States owned 

copper mines and the renunciation of Chile's pacts and agreements with 

the United States. 

After that, developments would probably differ little from those 

in Cuba. In his Central Committee speech on January 5, 1963, the 

communist leader Luis Corvalan did indeed proclaim his "belief" that 

extreme measures would not be necessary in Chile, and he even 

60, Vd. supra. 

61 , Point I of the FRAP election platform, as published in EL Siglo of 
January 2$ 9 states that: "the people's government will successively 
nationalize the foreign copper, nitrate, and iron ore holdings." 
According to Chile is like this, a guide book published by the Chilean 
North American Cultural Institute (Santiago? I960), the "big three" 
copper companies which dominate copper production in Chile are sub- 
sidiaries of Anaconda and Kennecott, the Cia Anglo-Lautaro which 
produces about 68$ of Chilean nitrate is controlled by Guggenheim 
interests, while Bethlehem Steel is developing the El Romeral iron mines , 

Point VII of the FRAP platform declares that: "the government will 
renounce the conventions derogatory to the national interest, such as 
the military pact with the United States and other agreements made by 
the Organization of American States and other international organisms 
which are injurious to the sovereignty of our nations „" 

62, Vd. su pra . 


promised that "no honest person" need harbor fears. But it is highly 
improbable that the Chilean Communists will still include their 
opponents in the category of "honest persons" once they have succeeded 

in branding them as traitors to their country and as friends of the 


Yankee fascists and cannibals „ Corvalan and Castro differ as to the 

road to be taken in order to attain power, but that does not mean that 
Corvalan is a democrat, or that once in power, his rule would be less 
totalitarian than Castro's. The totalitarian nature of the Chilean 
Communist Party is clearly demonstrated by the absolutely Orwellian 
timbre of their "Hate -the -Yankees" campaign. 

The violent anti -Americanism of the Chilean Communists thus is an 
integral and even vital part of their political strategy „ Since the 
primary aim of the Russians in Latin America is to diminish United 
States influence and prestige by all available means, Moscow has 
hitherto had no reason to quarrel with this 5 even though Chilean 
anti -American propaganda is geared to a higher pitch than that of 
European Communists. But if there should be any further softening of 
the Soviet attitude towards the United States, a real discrepancy 
between Soviet policy and that of the Chilean Communists would emerge. 

63 „ A maneuver of this type was successfully carried out by the 
Czechoslovak Communists in the first postwar years. The betrayal of 
Czechoslovakia by Britain and France in 1938 had understandably 
generated much anti-Western resentment among Czech democrats. This 
resentment was first utilized by the Communists to secure the agreement 
of the non-Communist parties to an alliance with the Soviet Union 
instead of with the West e It was then instrumental in vreakening 
resistance to the Communist coup of February 19 ii8. And after this, all 
active opponents of the Party dictatorship were branded as agents of 
the Western imperialists and therefore as traitors to their country — 
an accusation which was raised even against members of the Communist 
hierarchy who had fallen foul of the ruling group «, 


Until very recently, the Sino-Soviet quarrel about "peaceful 
coexistence" seemed to have little or no practical significance to the 
Chilean Communists, To them as to many Western observers it had all 
the appearance of a mere squabble about words , or at the utmost of a 
difference of opinion about the tactics to be pursued against the 
common enemy. The massive support given to Cuba seemed to be 
sufficient proof of the Soviet Government's revolutionary ardor and 
intransigent anti -Americanism , But now the Caribbean crisis of 
October 1962 has for the first time given some plausibility to Chinese 

charges of a fundamental "softness" of Soviet policy vis-£-vis the 


United States „ 

It might be argued that any reversal of Soviet foreign policy, 
however abrupt, would not trouble the Chilean Communists, since they 
are accustomed to such changes and have hitherto always swung into line 
with perfect discipline. But this argument is typical of the outsider 
who sees only the outwardly disciplined falling-into-line and remains 

unaware of the great internal stresses and strains which such maneuvers 

almost invariably provoke in the ranks of the Communist parties, ' A 

Soviet-American de*dente, even if only temporary, would certainly cause 

the greatest confusion and probably even a split among the Chilean 

Communists--especially now that there is a second great power in the 

6ii e The possibility of a Soviet—American detente may seem more remote 
to us than to the Chilean Communist leaders, who have reason to remember 
several rapid and complete changes of Soviet policy, 

65. With the exception of the switch from neutralism to support of the 
Allies after the German attack on the Soviet Union in World War II, 
every change of the general line of the Communist world movement was 
accompanied by violent internal strife in the member parties, and by 
numerous defections and expulsions. 


Communist world which would raise its voice in protest against such a 
change of policy. The effect might well be catastrophic if this 
happened during FRAP's bid for victory in the presidential election 

The Chilean Communists thus have good reason to be worried about 
the Sino-Soviet conflict and its implications for the future course of 
Soviet foreign policy „ 


1, There is a debate going on in the ranks of the Latin American 

Communist movement,, Its protagonists are the Cuban Fidel Castro, who 

66 . Indirect evidence as to the line-up of the Latin American Communist 
parties is afforded by the position taken by the Latin American spokesman 
at the East German Party Congress in January,, 1963 „ This was the Chilean 
Politbureau member Orlando Millas, who sided with the Soviets in con- 
demning "the provocations of the Albanian leaders" (vd. ftn. l£, supra ) . 
Millas spoke in the name of his own party and of the Communist parties 
of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, 
Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama. Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, 
El Salvador and Uruguay „ The name of the Venezuelan Communist Party is 
conspicuously absent from this list. 

Venezuela is also the one country in which there is definite 
evidence of Communist party participation in the attempts to spark off 
a rising in response to Cuban appeals for insurrection (vd, i a„, the 
UP I dispatch datelined New York, December 27, 1962, quoting a statement 
by Communist spokesman Hector Mujica to Donald Moffitt of the Wall 
Street Journal ) „ 

The Peruvian military junta also claim Communist party participa- 
tion in the riots and attempts at insurrection which occurred in their 
country in late December 1962 and early January 1963 . But the evidence 
so far published by the junta does not look very convincing* According 
to an AFP dispatch datelined Lima, Jan 5, 1963, and published In EJL 
Mer curio (Santiago) on Jan„ 6, the Peruvian government communique of 
Jan. 5 claims the participation of "all branches of Communism, princi- 
pally the Trotskyites," in the "subversive movement fostered by Havana, 
Prague, and Moscow." A certain lack of sophistication is apparent in 
the phrase "all branches of Communism, principally the Trotskyites,"— 
as if Trotskyism was just one of the tentacles of a monstrous Muscovite 
octopus. One cannot help suspecting that this wording was employed In 
the communique because there was not enough evidence of other Communist 


insists that objective conditions are ripe for armed insurrection in 
the majority or even immense majority of Latin American countries, and 
the Chilean Luis Corvalan, who maintains that a peaceful advent to powei 
is possible in some of these countries. 

2« This debate, which is of eminently practical significance for 
both its contestants, is taking place in the framework of a wider, more 
abstractly ideological Sino-Soviet debate on the possibility of "peaceful 
transition to socialism." Although Castro stresses that he is "not a 
dogmatist," he is for all practical purposes to be regarded as an 
advocate of the Chinese view that armed revolution is inevitable, while 
Corvalan stands for the Soviet contention that a "peaceful transition" 
is possible in some countries. 

groups besides the Trotskyites participating in the attempt at subversion. 
The Trotskyites, by the way, make no attempt to hide their own participa- 
tion. (Seethe item headlined "The Peruvian masses go to battle with a 
Trotskyite program" in the Chilean Trotskyite newssheet Vanguardia 
Proletaria (Santiago de Chile), Nr„ 36, second fortnight of January, 1963o) 

As for the Brazilian police reports of the discovery and confiscation 
of Cuban arms shipments, these implicate the Castroite Brazilian Peasants' 
League, and not the official Communist Party. (See UPI dispatch datelined 
Sao Paolo, December 28, 1962, in El Mercurio (Santiago), Dec 29.) 

The overwhelming majority of the Latin American Communist parties 
would thus appear to be backing Moscow against Peking, and since they 
have chosen Chile as their spokesman, it may be assumed that they are 
also backing that Party in its debate with Castro Yet this does not 
mean that they would be willing to risk an open conflict with the 
Cubans. The party leaderships and old-guard cadres may be reliable 
Muscovites, and also more inclined towards the peaceful methods of 
infiltration which they have practiced for so many years, than towards 
the Castroite methods of terrorism and insurrection. But this does not 
necessarily apply to the mass of the party members and fellow-travellers, 
particularly to the numerous youthful neophytes who have been attracted 
to the Party precisely through its apparent identification with the 
Cuban cause. The attitude of the Latin American Party leaders does not 
correctly reflect the enormous prestige which Castro enjoys in the ranks 
of the Latin American Communist movement. 


3„ The Chilean Communists have also come out openly for 
"peaceful coexistence," and they join the majority of other Communist 
parties in condemning Albanian "dogmatism." Yet on closer examination 
they no longer appear so staunchly pro-Soviet as at first glance, since 
the violence of their anti-Americanism brings them closer to the Red 
Chinese and Cuban position, 

h, Anti-Americanism of the most violent character is an integral 
and vital part of the Chilean Communists' political strategy. The 
Chilean Communists, as well as the Red Chinese and Cubans, therefore 
have a vested interest in preventing a detente between the Soviet Union 
and the United States, 

5> s In the days of Stalin it would have been inconceivable for the 
Chilean Communists to have exercised any degree of influence on the 
international policies of the Soviet Union. But today the Soviet Union 
is engaged in a bitter struggle to maintain control of the Communist 
world movement. In such a situation, even the opinions of such a 
Communist party as that of Chile carry some weight, and the Soviet 
leaders may well have to take them into account in shaping their policy, 

Santiago de Chile, February k f 1963 , 


Books : 

Victor Alba, Esquema histori co del Co muni smo en Iberoamerica , 3rd ed , 
(Mexico, D„F s Ediciones Occidentales, 1960) o 

Robert J. Alexander, Communism in Latin America (New Brunswick, N J„, 
Rutgers University Press, I960),, 

Chile is like this , A Guide Book (The Chilean North American Cultural 
Institute of Santiago, l°60) o 

Hacia La Conquista de un Gobierno popular , Documentos del XII Congreso 
Nacional del Partido Comunista de Chile (Santiago de Chile 
Soc. Impresora Horizonte, 1962). 

Matilde Ladron de Guevara, Adids al Canaveral , Diario de una Mujer en 
Cuba, 2nd ed (Buenos Aires; Editorial Goyanarte, 1962) « 

Elias Lafertte, Vida de un Comunista (Paginas Autobiograficas) , 2nd ed„ 
(Santiago de Chile; Talleres Graficos Horizonte, 196l). 

La Polemica Socialista-Comunista , Prensa Latinoamericana S„A e , 1962. 

Eudocio Ravines, La Gran Estafa (Santiago de Chiles Editorial del 
Pacifico, 1957). 

Volodia Teitelboim, La Semilla en la Aren a (Santiago de Chile: Empresa 
Austral, 1957). 

Marta Vergara, Memorias de una Muje r ir re ve rente (Santiago de Chile: 
Empresa Editora Zig-Zag, 1962). 

Articles : 

Theodore Draper, "Castro and Communism/' The Reporter , XXVIII, 2 
(January 17, 1963). 

Albert 0. Hirschman, "Ideologies of Economic Development in Latin 
America, "in Albert 0. Hirschman, ed., Latin American Issues: 
Essays and Comments (N.Y. : Twentieth Century Fund, 1961) . 

Newspapers and Periodicals : 

El Mercurio, Santiago de Chile (independent daily). 
El Siglo , Santiago de Chile (Communist daily) . 

Nuestra Epoca , Revista Internacional, Santiago de Chile (Communist monthly) . 
Vanguardia Proletaria , Organo del Partido Obrero Revolucionario (Trotskista) 
Santiago de Chile (monthly or fortnightly Trotskyite newssheet). 

University of